Saturday, February 20, 2010

Secrets of a Restaurant Chef: Braised Short Ribs

This recipe for Braised Short Ribs, by Anne Burrell, received five stars from 158 reviewers on Food Network. Have you ever seen her show? She is full of hints, tips and tricks but also really silly in the kitchen - that girl enjoys her job. This recipe is bizarre, it talks about "crud" and scraping it. But it is this recipe that convinced me to pay more attention to Miss Burrell in the future - she knows a thing or two about cooking!

The ingredient list is pretty simple:
6 bone-in short ribs (I used boneless)
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed (plus some roasted garlic)
1 1/2 cups tomato paste
2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
2 cups water (I also dropped a beef bouillon cube in the water)
1 bunch fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
2 bay leaves

I found these perfectly trimmed and boneless short ribs at my new Sprouts grocery store. I seasoned with salt and pepper.

I used fresh and roasted garlic because I had both on hand.

Place all the veggies in your blender and puree.

At this point I wasn't convinced that this recipe/technique was any good, but I'm so glad I stuck to it. (and you will be too)

Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.

When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Crud? Really did she just say CRUD? Scrape the crud and let it reform.
"Okay, Miss Burrell... I'm barely hanging on to this recipe. It looks like I've burned the crap out of these veggies."

Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn.

Reduce the mixture by half.

Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. I didn't have fresh thyme, so I sprinkled dried thyme on top and dropped in the bay leaves.

Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time.

Recipe says to remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. Most reviews I read said they didn't do this. I didn't bother with it either. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart.
I served these tender short ribs on top of my 3 cheese risotto and some of the rich braising liquid.

Every bite will make you moan. I believe this is my new favorite short rib recipe and have made it twice already.

I've made a similar recipe before, Giada's short ribs are also very good but in a completely different way. Review Giada's recipe here.

My mom makes her short ribs another way. Review Momma's recipe here.


  1. I'm moaning just looking at this! Looks delish!

  2. I have to say, I love Anne Burrell! She's kind of quirky, but it makes her show fun. And everything she cooks looks SOOOO good. I can't wait to try these shortribs! Yours look divine.


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